Express & Star

Breast cancer survivors to celebrate diversity by strutting down the catwalk

Seven breast cancer survivors will showcase the latest Indian fusion fashion designs on the catwalk to raise awareness of the disease.

Some of the models that will appear at the show

The event aims to raise awareness about the disease during October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The feel-good ‘Strike a Pose’ charity fashion show will take place on Saturday, October 21, from 7.30pm to 9.30pm at Molineux in Wolverhampton.

Funds will be raised at the event for Breast Cancer Now as well as Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer, which is an award-winning and leading breast cancer charity in the West Midlands.

Gurjit Gill, 42, from Wolverhampton, will be one of the ladies attending the event, and as a breast cancer survivor, she has told her story.

Gurj Gill

The mother of two shared: "I was diagnosed with breast cancer in late 2014 when I was 33.

"I was fortunate enough to come from a family where they have open conversations about health and wellbeing. When I shared my worries about the lump under my arm, there was a sense of security and comfort from my family. The unknown can be a scary place, but the support from loved ones got me through it, especially from my husband, Ravi.

"However, in the South Asian community, breast cancer can still be a taboo subject, and the dreaded 'what will the aunties say?' fears come up.

"The community as a whole needs more education about the illness and how to support individuals.

"I was motivated and positive. My siblings were due to get married within a year, and even though my parents insisted on cancelling the weddings, I was not going to let that happen. On the days I had the energy, I would plan the wedding with my sister."

Gurj had chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, and radiotherapy and also needed a DIEP flap procedure, where surgeons used skin and fatty tissue from the lower abdomen to reconstruct her breasts due to the implants reacting badly to radiotherapy.

She was full of praise for Mr Sircar, from New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton, her breast surgeon. She said his words to her were 'Gurjit, we will look after you', and that’s what he did.

Strike a Pose will highlight the importance of diversity and inclusivity, especially among ethnic minority communities. There are seven models, ranging from 30-70 years in age, with two women of South Asian heritage, one of them being 69 years old. There are also two women of African-Caribbean heritage.

The event will be hosted by the Miss Lips, a drag act from West Midlands, with live entertainment from the bhangra beats of Prestige Drummers.

Event attendees will have the opportunity to win prizes, enjoy complimentary food and support charity.

Anyone wanting more information on the event or to book a ticket can visit